The American Association of Retired Persons Foundation (AARP) hopes to assist local low-income seniors who are 55 years and older who have been out of the workplace regain employment through its Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The program is a community service and work-based job training program.
SCSEP provides training sites to participants through host agencies to improve or create job skills needed for today’s market. “They get to develop and hone skills that they haven’t used in a while as we simultaneously work with them to place them in jobs,” said Jocelyn Harrison, system project director with AARP Foundation’s Newport News office.
The foundation works with many local nonprofit organizations such as Good Will and Samaritan House because they’re usually looking for assistance from volunteers within the community and need the manpower. While SCSEP participants gain on-the-job work experience, they’re also paid a small stipend.
“Some of the host agencies actually end up hiring them, which is a real plus,” said Harrison. “They’ve demonstrated their skills, responsibility, teamwork and get hired.” Those who aren’t picked up by host agencies continue to work with AARP to be linked with other employment opportunities in the community.
Whether people have been out of the workforce for a few years or a couple of decades, many companies are seeking mature workers who have acquired vast on-the-job knowledge. “They have the experience that a lot of millennials don’t in terms of hard and soft skills, dependability, and reliability,” said Harrison. “It’s really a win-win for both the employee and employer.”
AARP Foundation’s Peninsula office is located at 11834 Canon Blvd., Suite H-1, Newport News. For more information, please call 757-595-8726. To complete an SCSEP applicant interest form, click here.